Friendship High School

“Y’know, if a guy thinks he’s bad even though he’s actually pretty good: he’s an idiot.” Reese took a gulp out of something in a brown paper bag. “But if a guy thinks he’s doing good, even though he’s actually chunking some other guy’s guts out: he’s a freaking vigilante!”

He took an A&W can out of the bag, crushed it against a wall, and threw it into a trash can across the hall. The can hit the rim and spinned about a million times before giving up, falling into the empty trash can with a metal clank of brown, syrupy splatter.

“Ah, another John Brown quote. You should seriously be a poet someday, Peanut.” I finish sticking the medley of colored papers on the same wall Reese destroyed his root beer, stepping back in awe. A giant ribbon of pastel smiley-faces stretching across the main hall smiled back at me in mutual admiration.

I would've liked to call it a day, but it was five in the morning and Mission Happy Day wasn't quite finished. The classrooms were newly polished and gleaming infatuating sparkles, and packets of ungraded tests, tardy slips and wads of gum mysteriously missing too. Some people were going to bring eggs later today. But with all the nice notes Reese and I wrote on every desk and whiteboard, I’m hoping they won’t throw them at anyone. All I need now is a chair that won't use gravity against me...

“Wanna guess which guy you are?” Reese grumbles, breaking my train of thought with his psycho-telepathy thing as he got up from the floor to grab a chair lurking in an open classroom nearby.

It takes a while for me to regain my thoughts, but I’m not rude enough to say nothing, so I word together something else. “Not a Peanut, that's for sure.”

“Would you shut up about the Peanut crap!” Reese yells back through the carbohydrate-induced air of over fifty stacks of pizza lounging in the cafeteria as he returns with a plastic chair nearing its death.

“But it’s a good idea!” I counter after watching Reese’s face turn into a look of unamusement when the jellyfish streamers were pulled out of my sweater pocket by a limb that looked suspiciously like my left hand. “I’m only 95 percent done, though.”

“What is it with you and math?” He hit me on the shoulder, runaway root beer fleeing to my neck.

“What is it with you and not knowing?” I hit him back, making sure it was after I wiped my hand down the entirety of my neck. He stared at me with daring pupils that only said one thing: my fist is coming.

We could’ve fought--bloody spit escaping with every punch of the knuckles and jab of the elbow while we shouted unintelligible profanities at each other’s self-esteem on two wobbly legs--but we could’ve done that any day. And this was a special day. April 1st, the hereinafter day of happy, unpredictable events. Well, if you call deliberately messing with locks and stealing your little sister’s glitter stash a good idea.

  “Anyways Peanut,” I broke the silence into a well enough rejoicement. “I still need to attach 5 percent of the plan onto the ceiling over there if you don’t mind.” I take the chair leaning against a giant penguin plushie and walk into the center of the main entrance.

Reese leaned back against the wall and checked his watch, waiting for me to risk my life on the poor excuse for a plastic chair. “Y’know if a guy thinks he’s tall even if he’s not: at least he has aspirations. But if a guy knows he’s tall and he’s right: at the very least he could get on the damn chair and help out his short friend.”

“So you wanna get on the chair?” I perk an eyebrow to myself.

He looked at me totter from side to side, using my arms and little acrobatic ability to balance in the middle of the freezing hallway. The top of the ceiling sloped into a glass dome overlooking the nonexistent bright skies, only making it that much harder to attach anything on it.

“Nah. I was just saying,” Reese laughed as I tottered wildly with my hands and streamers over my head like a confused child realizing the meaning of regret.

“Oh, yeah, that’s right. I’ve never seen a peanut butter Reese’s cup have any fun, now have I?” I said while using a curved wire to slide each streamer through tiny hooks on the dome windows, giving me only 20 percent of my mind to think about what I was saying.

Reese took a discarded broom from outside the janitor’s closet to either hit or help me. “If your name was also a popular brand, I’d sure as hell make fun of it right now.” He poked at the chair’s legs before giving it to me and my sore stomach.

“Hey, can you get the can out of the trash can; I need a hundred percent of the stuff in here to be empty for the sweet janitors,” I ask after successfully getting a couple neon green streamers through the bent hooks.

He looked stubborn. “It’s one non-alcoholic can!”

I coughed, getting him to groan semi-dramatically from his adamant laziness.

“Why do ya do this, McDermott?”

“Do what?” I acted as curious of my behavior as I could as another orange streamer made its way through the sixth hook, resting elegantly just over the head of our school mascot, Ryan the Lion.

“I mean, who pulls orange peels and tennis balls out of a toilet just for the hell of it?”

“Hey, in my defense, I did not expect to find a tennis ball lodged down a toilet forty meters from the nearest gym. And who the hell just follows Mario McDermott because he said he had this great idea from three months ago?”

“Look,” he whinged. “All I needed was to do something stupid for a change, okay? Besides, you’re a friend, and nobody’s gonna thank you for replacing whoopie cushions with a poster of Winnie the Pooh being a honey-lover.”

“But they’ll notice it,” I sing-song.

He stops looking at me and stares out of the glass doors, ending the argument with a loud silence. His pupils become dilated like that time his dad came to drag him out of a sleepover for forgetting to bring his Nytone alarm in the second grade.

“I just want the ordinary people to smile,” I try to explain my point some more. “I don’t care if they want to think it's magic or fairies or something descending from the Great Divine, but at least I’ll know I'm responsible for a fraction of the happiness in the world. A fraction of the people smiling to themselves because something different finally happened.”

His eyes widen as he looks back at me. “That was a great speech, McDermott, but the dean just parked her car outside.”

I look outside to see an infamous pair of black heels step out of a white Volkswagen. “Okay, just let me finish this off.” I start to maneuver the wire faster with only 4 percent of the mission to go.

“There’s no time; get out!” He pushed me off the chair and ran away, sneakers skidding across the hallway in fear. “Even vigilantes hafta get in trouble sometime!” his sneakers squealed.

“But I’m only 96 percent done!” I run away.

April 03, 2021 03:58

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Gerald Daniels
20:20 Apr 11, 2021

Great story, loved it.


Dalia Navarez
21:22 Apr 12, 2021

Thanks! :)


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